Court System Structure Checkpoint II Missouri State Court Systems vs. Texas State Court Systems CJS/220- Erin Berger The States of the United States have individual and unique governments with many similarities. All states are required by the constitution to have republican governments. Despite their similarities, all states have different government structures and procedures, as you will see in the following comparisons of Missouri and Texas state court systems.
The Texas state court system consists of the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, courts of appeals, district-level courts, county-level courts, and municipal and justice of the peace courts. The Texas Supreme Court is the highest civil court in the state. Determinations made by the Texas Supreme Court are final and apply to all cases except criminal law matters. The jurisdiction of the Texas Supreme Court is primarily limited to appeals from the courts of appeals.
Like Texas, the Missouri Supreme Court is at the apex of the state’s court system. It hears cases in specialized areas and has exclusive jurisdiction in five areas, including cases involving the meaning of the U. S. and Missouri constitutions. The Missouri legislative branch consists of the state legislature, which is the Missouri General Assembly. The Missouri legislative branch is bicameral, that comprises a 163-member House of Representatives (the lower house) and a 34-member Senate.
Members of both houses are subject to term limits: Senators are limited to two terms, Representatives to four, and a total of eight years for members of both houses. The Legislative branch of Texas is also bicameral, and the Texas House of Representatives has 150 members, while the Senate has 31. The Speaker of the House, for Texas, leads the House, and the Lieutenant Governor leads the Senate. Texas has only two courts of last resort: the Texas Supreme Court, which hears civil cases, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
All members of the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are elected statewide. However, The Missouri judicial branch is established by Article V of the Missouri Constitution. The Supreme Court of Missouri is the highest court, and The Missouri Court of Appeals is the state intermediate appellate court. It is split into three districts: Western (based in Kansas City), Eastern (based in St. Louis), and Southern (based in Springfield).
The state trial courts of general jurisdiction are the 45 Missouri Circuit Courts and Associate Circuit Courts within each Circuit Court. Texas has a plural executive branch system which limits the power of the Governor. Except for the Secretary of State, all executive officers are elected independently making them directly answerable to the public not the Governor. However, the Missouri executive branch is laid out in Article IV of the Missouri Constitution and is headed by the governor of Missouri. The governor is charged with executing the laws of the state.
Texas has a total of 254 counties, by far the most counties of any state and does not have townships; areas within a county are either incorporated or unincorporated. However, Missouri allows cities to adopt their own charter should they chose to do so; it was the first state in the union to do so, and in both Texas and Missouri, certain officials, such as the sheriff and city clerk, are elected separately by the voters. I believe in the comparison of Texas and Missouri, I would have to say that it is hard to decide which, is the most effective court system.
In Texas, though there are some similarities with Missouri, the court systems, have to deal with a larger number of counties and cities therefore, having more political and social issues, than that of Missouri. Texas, being the biggest state in the country, most likely has to do things the way they do in order to be able to sustain such a large demand for justice in any case. In Missouri, though not exactly a small state, there just is not the amount of people to have to deal with and I believe that both states are carrying an effective system for each of its own societies.
States have to make laws, and provide society with the necessary judicial, executive and legislative processes, in which to fit that states current state of society. States generally follow their own set of guidelines, coupled (in some form), with that of the U. S. constitution, to make new laws and processes in order to be able to maintain its own society. So in this effect, I believe that for the states of Texas and Missouri, each states court system is effective in its own state